How Good Is Jodie Foster's French?

“I’m not an ACTOR…I’m a fucking MOVIE STAR.”

– Alan Swann (played by Peter O’Toole) in My Favorite Year, 1982

Very, very good, almost perfect. She uses a false article twice and one clumsy expression, but that’s about it. I know native speakers who aren’t as articulate as her. The only accent I can hear is somehow generic Southern-German, but not American.

Her father was in the U.S. Army stationed in Europe and her mother is German. She spent her youth in Nuremberg.

No fucking. The movie was PG.

That, on the other hand, is exhibit A.1, slide 1 of “anglophone speaking French” :).
I mean, he’s not *horrible *at it and he has no difficulty getting understood, but you couldn’t mistake him for a native if you were in a coma.

I strongly suspect that many of the people taking upper level French courses at Yale still spoke accented French, and still made errors that a native speaker simply would not.

Well, Sandra didn’t learn German at school. Her mother, opera singer Helga Meyer, was born in Germany. She spoke German constantly at home, so German was baby Sandra’s first language.

Pas de merde, Sherlock.

Another problem is that normally you don’t learn the more colorful expressions when studying a foreign language in school. So when a friend was going to France, we bought him a book called “Street French.” It had all sorts of tips on useful stuff like how to ask someone if they want to come back to your hotel with you. Or how to curse out a taxicab driver in Paris.

(And the later I found a book on restaurant Spanish. So that if you’re a non-speaker of Spanish but need to converse with the Spanish-speaking kitchen staff of a restaurant, here’s the stuff you’re likely to need to know.

Pardonnez-moi, mademoiselle, pourriez-vous me sucer la bite?

My French TA was very good about helping me with such matters.

How good is Olivia Munn’s Japanese?

Judging solely on that episode of Newroom where she speaks Japanese,… then… if she as an actor is trying to portray an American who studied Japanese at school and at university and even did a year or two in Japan as an exchange student, she absolutely nailed it. She made a few strange word choices, pronunciation mistakes, had stilted cadence or was too quick in other parts. But not bad for a foriegner. :smiley:

I’m American but was raised speaking French as my first language. I studied French in school for YEARS to learn how to write well. I am fully bilingual.

She is perfect. She has a very slight American accent. Her grammar is flawless. Many French people would mistake her as a native and she speaks MUCH better than the average French person. I am blown away by how good her French is. I have NEVER heard an American speak French anywhere near this level. She sounds like a university professor.

He speaks good French with a strong English accent.

Quite normal. In people who aren’t at the native level it has to do with insecurity: more pauses than usual, different gestures (defensive ones such as a lot of “pushing” with their hands at belt level), a higher register. At the native level, well, one of the things that distinguishes natives is the body language and tones!

Maybe LaGuardia of New York City allegedly changed his body language depending on which language he was speaking at the time. Probably not that uncommon a phenomena, but not universal either.

Are you sure?

It seems that “balancer” can indeed be used in the same way as “to balance” but I’m pretty sure that I had never come across this usage before reading your examples. Actually, I had to check in two dictionaries to make sure that it was possible.

Because really, in everyday life, “équilibrer” is the verb you’ll use.

Aside from ZOMBIE thread and all, this sentence from the OP just makes my brain hurt.

I’ve never had the opportunity to “French” Ms Foster*, so I can’t really say. But I can imagine.

(*and, apparently, I never will)

Perhaps because Miss Foster was no everyday woman?